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My Personality's Like an Onion, It's Got Layers

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"An exceptionally powerful shikigami. Only the most elite onmyoji are able to summon and bind it to paper. It can ward off disaster or cure illness, but its ordinary temperament is quite vicious."

—Persona 5 background

 

 

He grasped his bag closer to himself as he braced himself for the turn. I can’t have this stuff getting damaged.

 

They finally had a free day from school and thieving, and Ryuji wanted to make sure that it was enjoyed the fullest. No homework. No stress. No planning. No talking about the dangers of society. Just him, his best friend Ren, and some video games. 

 

It had taken some convincing, but he eventually got Ren to agree to the free day. 

 

Ryuji had been noticing the dark circles under Ren’s eyes were slowly expanding, and Ren was looking a lot more serious during lunch time chats, and he knew he had to do something. 

 

I may not be able to help him with planning or homework. But I can help with destressing.

 

He knew the only system Ren had was an ancient one, so he was bringing over his slightly newer system to play. Not his newest one, as Ren’s tv was a CRT-TV, so he had to make sure it still had the red, white, yellow cords. Regardless, this was the system he had when he used to hang out with Ann all the time, so it had all the best multiplayer games anyways.

 

He grinned to himself and hugged the bag a little tighter, happy to have thought this up.

 

---

 

The two teens were staring at each other.

 

They had already done the require snack and drink run and tv setup, and so were now trying to decide which game to play.

 

“I wanna know what character you are in Smash.”

 

“I’m only used to the newer ones, I’ll totally mess up. How about Tennis?”

 

Neither of them were willing to budge on their choices for a moment, until Ryuji sighed. This whole thing was to just get him to finally calm down. I need to choose something not serious.

 

He scanned the pile for a moment before he saw a box poking out at the bottom. Perfect.

 

“How about this one?” Ryuji grinned as he fished Double Dash out.

 

Ren’s eyes glowed in delight. “That looks perfect.”

 

---

 

Before this, Ryuji would have told you it was impossible to succeed too well.

 

Now, however, he would weep in memory of this day.

 

His mission for the day was to get Ren to loosen up and stop acting perfect all the time. He had seen how it was tearing the man apart to be leader all the time with everyone he spoke to. Ren had way too much on his plate, and Ryuji just wanted to take some off that pressure off. 

 

Instead of that, though, he had released a beast. 

 

An evil, evil beast. 

 

“HOW DID YOU EVEN GET A BLUE SHELL IN 2ND PLACE.”

 

Ren laughed maniacally as he twisted towards Ryuji the moment he passed the finish line, cinching first place once more, “I was holding onto it.”

 

“Are you telling me that was why you didn’t do the turbo boost at the beginning of the race?” Ryuji moaned.

 

“Yep. Was planning this the whole time.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

“Love you too, bro.”

 

The two collapsed onto the ground. 

 

“You won every single cup, including Mirror Mode.”

 

“Yep.”

 

“Do you ever chill?”

 

“What do you mean? That was the most relaxed I’ve been in months.”

 

“Well, mission accomplished then.”

 

Ryuji sighed and then flopped his arm over his eyes, letting himself soak in the silence.

 

Ren sat up at that and just looked at Ryuji for a while, thinking intensely.

 

After a few moments, he whispered, “Thanks. I needed it.” Before flopping down next to him